Ireland winger Andrew Trimble believes the time for talk and excuses at Ulster is over and actions on the pitch must speak louder than words off it.
Ulster start their preparations for the new Pro14 campaign with a friendly against Wasps at Kingspan Stadium tonight.
Last season Ulster ended up bottom of their European Champions Cup group and finished fifth in the Pro12 table, missing out on the play-offs which meant no knockout rugby for the first time in seven years and Trimble knows that is not acceptable.
“A lot of people are sick of hearing our intentions, our goals, our aspirations and we are sick of talking about it so everybody is looking forward to getting into the season, getting things going and fulfilling the potential we have,” said Trimble
“Last year we didn’t get to the standard that we, as players, the press or the supporters demand of us because there is a lot of talent in this team. We didn’t get there so we want to stop talking about it and start achieving things.”
Trimble was part of the last Ulster team to win silverware in 2006 and he is hoping the arrival of three close season signings and a new coaching set up can end the 11 year trophy drought.
“Jean (Deysel) and Schalke (van der Merwe) will add a massive amount of physicality. It will be exciting to see these guys carry the ball and bring the experience they have elsewher. I think they are excited to be here and be a part of it and I’m also excited to see John (Cooney) as well.
“There has been a lot of chat about Ruan and it has been talked to death over the summer and for good reason, he set the standard through the roof for that nine jersey. Now there are four or five lads fighting it out and they know how good they have to be to get that jersey and John will add his name into the hat so it will be exciting to see what happens.”
“Jono Gibbes sets very high standards and he’s very clear in his communications about what he requires. There is never any confusion, you know exactly what you have to achieve in a session; you know what is required in every role of phase play and set piece.
“It’s a good place to be. He has definitely cracked the whip and made sure we know what is fully expected of us and all the boys are buying into that.
“The level of detail is remarkable in terms of our phase play and what we are trying achieve there, the detail is a big thing.”
Trimble will turn 33 in October and has amassed 217 caps for Ulster but he feels there is still plenty in the tank.
“I want to get out there and be part of a few special nights at Kingspan, I think this a team that can do big things and I want to be a part of it.
“I think there is a long life in me and I can kick on and get to the form and standard I expect from myself. I just want to let my rugby do the talking.
“There is a lot of competition for places and a season like that can be pretty on forgiving so I have to keep myself fit and keep on top of things and make sure when I get out there I give a good reflection of myself.”